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It's 'Black Hole Friday'! Take a Break from Shopping to Celebrate with NASA (Video)

Happy Black Hole Friday!

NASA is trying to rebrand the spend-happy day after Thanksgiving, inspiring us to appreciate the wonders of the universe by contemplating its most extreme objects: black holes.

As part of this effort, the agency released a new video today (Nov. 29) called "5 Things: Black Holes" that lays out the basics of these light-gobbling behemoths.

"If you're not shopping, or on a break between stores, let yourself get sucked in to all this great material we have on black holes," NASA officials wrote in a statement on the agency's homepage today (Nov. 29). "See you on the other side of the event horizon."

NASA transformed its homepage to black hole central for Black Hole Friday 2019.

NASA transformed its homepage into black hole central for Black Hole Friday 2019. (Image credit: NASA)

The event horizon is a black hole's famous "point of no return" beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape. 

The new video explains this, of course, as well as the difference between stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes, the basics of how gravity works (massive objects warp space-time) and more.

So, chew on this ample food for thought today if the frenzy of Black Friday consumerism has got you down. And if you want yet more inspiration, check out the first-ever direct photos of a black hole's silhouette, which were released earlier this year by the Event Horizon Telescope team.

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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  • AngryLiberal
    The renditions are remarkably inconsitent. What also caught my attention was the clip @01:42. The fabric of space-time looking like a long white line. What is the fabric made of by the way?

    I wish you all a weekend filled with love and light.
    Reply
  • rod
    Okay, I enjoyed views of the waxing crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter the evening of Thanksgiving, low in SW sky shortly after sunset. I also enjoyed views of 4 Vesta asteroid using my telescope and binoculars, and on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, my family enjoyed some views of various open star clusters like the double double in Perseus, Pleiades in Taurus, others in Auriga and Cassiopeia. Early black Friday (0600 EST) I viewed Arcturus and TYC1472-1427-1 stars, close together using binoculars. This was much more enjoyable than chasing black holes and much easier to see too :)
    Reply